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03/30/12 12:13 AM ET

Hawpe released by Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Rangers have given Brad Hawpe his unconditional release in order for him to look for a Major League job elsewhere. They have also invited him back if he can't find one.

"We've talked to some other teams, hopefully there are some opportunities that present themselves," Hawpe said. "I'd like to stay here, but it just wasn't in the cards."

Hawpe, a former All-Star outfielder for the Rockies who had Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery last August, was signed this offseason to a Minor League contract as insurance in case Mitch Moreland had problems returning from wrist surgery.

But Moreland, who hit his second home run of the spring in a 6-2 loss to the Giants on Thursday, has had no problems this spring. Hawpe was the one who had the physical issues. He was set back twice by hamstring issues and he is not fully recovered from his elbow injury. That kept him from playing in the outfield.

"We liked a lot of things we saw from Brad," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said. "He swung the bat well and he was a great teammate. But the elbow still limited him from playing the outfield. That was more of a need for us. We gave him his release to find a big league job and we wish him the best. If not, we've invited him back to stay with us."

Hawpe, who is from and lives in the Fort Worth area, would likely work out with Double-A Frisco, with the goal of building up enough arm strength to play the outfield.

"That's not my first thought," Hawpe said. "I'd like to go to a team and help them win a World Series. If not, I'll think about it. This is a great place. They gave me a great opportunity. They gave me the opportunity to show my swing is back from Tommy John. My arm is close. but I'm just not a fit here the way things stand now."

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields, and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.